6. Support for you the carer > Looking after your own health and wellbeing

Looking after your own health and wellbeing

8) Relaxation techniques (continued)

Woman doing Tai Chi

  • Meditation– Being in a meditative state takes practice and can be learned on your own or in a group. This usually involves starting with a comfortable posture then clearing your mind of internal thoughts or external distractions. A key word or mantra is repeated over and over either out loud or in your mind to give you something to focus on.
  • Yoga– This is best practiced with an experienced teacher or instructor and may not be suitable for everyone. Yoga is a holistic method of becoming aware of how the body, emotions and mind work together. Posture, meditation and breathing are central to yoga principles. Because of some of the physical positions required it is sensible to check with your doctor before joining a yoga class. There are different levels including for beginners
  • Tai chi– This consists of self paced, slow and controlled movement patterns which flow. It is suitable for all ages and is used in the NHS for a variety of conditions including for patients who have had cardiac surgery. It is best to have a professional teacher or instructor to teach you the correct method. There is an emphasis on concentration and movement and it can be done in a sitting position for less mobile or elderly people.
  • Massage– there are several self massage techniques which can be helpful if you have tension in one specific area such as head or shoulders. Some carer organisations may have classes on alternative therapies and massage.
  • Laughter– Usually we all feel less stressed when we have been laughing. Laughing releases endorphins in the brain which give us a feeling of elation. Try watching a comedy film or programme at home. Friends can also help you to take time out from your carer role even for a short time.

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